More Whole-Grain Foods What Are Whole Grains?

More Whole-Grain Foods What Are Whole Grains?

The first step in increasing your intake of whole grains is to correctly identify them. The following are whole grains:

• whole-grain corn

• popcorn

• brown rice

• whole-grain barley

Other choices include bulgur (cracked wheat), farro, millet, kasha (roasted buckwheat kernels), quinoa, wheat and rye berries, amaranth, wild rice, graham flour, whole-grain kamut, whole-grain spelt, and whole-grain triticale.

Wheat flour, unbleached flour, enriched flour, and degerminated corn meal are not whole grains. Wheat germ and wheat bran are also not whole grains, but they are the constituents of wheat typically left out when wheat is processed and so are healthier choices than regular wheat flour, which typically contains just the grain’s endosperm.

More Whole-Grain Foods What Are Whole Grains? Photo Gallery

Checking Packages for Whole Grains

To find packaged foods such as bread or pasta that are rich in whole grains, read the list of ingredients and check for special health claims related to whole grains. The first item in the list of ingredients should be one of the whole grains in the preceding list. Product names and food color can be misleading. When in doubt, always check the list of ingredients and make sure “whole” is the first word in the list.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows manufacturers to include special health claims for foods that contain 51% or more whole-grain ingredients. Such products may contain a statement such as the following on their packaging:

• “Rich in whole grain”

• “Made with 100% whole grain”

• “Diets rich in whole-grain foods may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.”

However, many whole-grain products will not carry such claims. This is one more reason to check the ingredient list to make sure you’re buying a product made from one or more whole grains.

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